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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one.  The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.

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Introduction

A key, but unseen influence in life is that of God’s enemy, the Devil.  He was one of God’s chief angels who went astray and ultimately was defeated.  The devil operates through introducing lies and spreading death.  Though he has access to heaven, his authority is limited.  As we are able to stand, we see God use His power to overcome him.


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The devil’s ways

Although there is not much about the origin of the devil, there is more on the dynamic of how the devil or Satan operates.  The name Satan means ‘the accuser.’  John 8:43-45

Firstly, Jesus explains how the devil operates.  

  1. How is the devil described?
  2. How are those who follow the devil, even unintentionally, influenced by him?


John 8:43-45   43 Why can't you understand what I am saying? It's because you can't even hear me!44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.45 So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don't believe me!.


The devil and God

Let us look at a text from the Old Testament,

  1. How did the Lord challenge Satan?
  2. What might have been the Lord’s purpose in this?
  3. What was the nature of Satan’s response?
  4. Why would the Lord put Job into Satan’s hands to be tested?


Job 1:6-12   6 One day the members of the heavenly court* came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan,* came with them.7 "Where have you come from?" the LORD asked Satan.

  Satan answered the LORD, "I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that's going on."

  8 Then the LORD asked Satan, "Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil."

  9 Satan replied to the LORD, "Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God.10 You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is!11 But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!"

  12 "All right, you may test him," the LORD said to Satan. "Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don't harm him physically." So Satan left the LORD's presence..


The outcome of this story is significant in a number of ways


The Devil tempts

Jesus was also tempted by the Devil.  It occurred just before Jesus’ ministry began and was important to prove His character.  The fact that He was tempted indicates that being tempted is not wrong. Matthew 4:1-11

  1. What were the desires the devil tempted Jesus with?
  2. What was Jesus’ response and defence in each temptation?
  3. How successful was the Devil in tempting Jesus?


Matthew 4:1-11 1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil.2 For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry.  3 During that time the devil* came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves of bread."       4 But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People do not live by bread alone,  but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'*"     5 Then the devil took him to the holy city, Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple,6 and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, 'He will order his angels to protect you.And they will hold you up with their hands  so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone.'*"

  7 Jesus responded, "The Scriptures also say, 'You must not test the LORD your God.'*"     8 Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.9 "I will give it all to you," he said, "if you will kneel down and worship me."    10 "Get out of here, Satan," Jesus told him. "For the Scriptures say,  'You must worship the LORD your God  and serve only him.'*"    11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus..


The devil blinds

Amongst those who do not know God, the devil is quite successful.  The following text shows how the devil seeks to operate.

  1. What authority does the devil have in the world?
  2. What influence can the devil have over those who don’t believe?
  3. Do you see any evidence of this?  What if any?


2 Corinthians 4:3-4   3 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing.4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God..


Devil devours

Jesus describes the devil as a murderer.  Here Peter tells us the attitude with which he wishes to kill, and the means we have of resisting him.  1 Peter 5:8-11

  1. How does the enemy operate in this text?
  2. How can the devil be overcome?
  3. What does it mean to stand firm in faith?
  4. How does suffering contribute to God’s glory?


1 Peter 5:8-11  Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters* all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

  10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.11 All power to him forever! Amen.


The Devil flees

The devil is not all powerful. God is greater, and when we choose to submit to God he is overcome.

  1. What are we instructed to do?
  2. What is the devil’s response when we live like this?


James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.


See Spiritual Warfare for a more thorough study on this.

THE DEVIL